Class #4573

Heart Opening

40 min - Class


Open your heart chakra and find more self-love with this Mat class by Jason Williams. He blends movements you know with movements that are new to you for an engaging experience. As you flow through his sequence, you will feel more joy and compassion for yourself.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hello hello, this is Jason Williams. Welcome to Pilates Anytime, and welcome to "Vital Restoration." Today's class is called Heart Opening. One of my favorite things to teach in terms of Reiki and meditation is the heart. So today think of the color green, right? So green is a nice, vibrant color, it's gonna exude out into the rest of our, not only our body, but into the world.

So think with the heart chakra, think love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, all those things are incorporated within to the heart chakra. So we're gonna start with a meditation, move, and then end with our Reiki meditation. So find that nice, comfortable seat wherever you are and begin to settle in, get the kinks out, move side to side, maybe bend the head side to side a little bit, stretch out the neck and shoulders. And then you'll begin to find some stillness. I want to start with a little breath work to kind of open up through the front of our body, the back of our body and the sides of our body.

So take a nice, easy inhale through your nose as you close your eyes. Ease the exhale out the mouth. Good, two more, inhale through the nose and exhale out the mouth. Go one, more inhale through your nose, and out the mouth. Now bringing one hand to your belly, we'll start with a little bit of belly breathing.

So as you inhale, feel your belly expand, and then as you exhale, let it contract back towards the spine. Good, inhale, let the belly expand. And then exhale and contract back towards the spine. Good, inhale, let the belly expand, and exhale, let it contract. So as you continued that breath, allow your belly to fill up with air on the inhales, let a contract back towards the spine on the exhales.

This may be the first time you're noticing your breath, and being really with your breath this week. One more time, inhale, and then exhale. And then you remove your hand back down to your lap. This time, as you inhale, allow your rib cage to fill up with air. So now we're moving up the spine and the torso.

And again, you can even maybe bring your hands to your rib cage, just to feel the expansion. and exhale, let the ribs contract. So fell your lungs expand, inhale, feel that expansion on the inhale, exhale, let it contract. Again, you don't have to have your hands here, but sometimes it's nice to feel your rib cage expand on the inhale and then exhale. Inhale, expand, and then exhale, contract.

One more time, inhale, and then exhale. And then moving one hand to your heart or your chest, same concept, inhale, let the chest expand, and then exhale, let it contract. Inhale, open the heart, and then exhale, contract. Inhale to expand, opening the chest, the heart, exhale, let it contract. Let's do that one more time.

Big breath, inhale, and exhale. Good, returning to your normal breath, nice and easy, nice and light. And then begin to softly, gently blink the eyes open and then having both hands to your knees and start with some nice, easy cat cows in this seated position. So you're gonna round back through your spine here. So again, my hands are staying right to the knees.

Exhale, pull forward, open up through that chest, look up towards the sky or to ceiling, rounding back to your spine. And again, I'm gonna show you from this angle so as you can see about how far maybe you want to go back. And exhale, pull up nice and tall through these cat cows. So it's nice to get a nice little leverage with the hands. as you round down through the spine and pull forward looking up towards the ceiling, really opening up to the heart, the chest, tucking the chin down as you inhale, sit back, exhale, open it up nice and tall, good.

Two more times rounding the spine and then exhale, opening up, opening that heart, the chest. Last one, rounding through the spine, feeling that nice stretch through the back, and then exhale, open it up. Nice. Good. And then coming in here to neutral spine, bring your hands to goalpost arms, so that 90 degrees from the elbow.

Nice, easy twist and keeping your hands in that goalpost position and then twisting back. So, nice torso movement or twist here, opening up through the chest, the back. So essentially, it's kind of like a little helicopter, right? So nothing moves but just the torso, looking to the left looking to the right, really get that expansion through the chest and even into the spine at thoracic or mid-back area. Good.

And again, don't worry how far you go. Again, we're just warming up, we're stretching. We're feeling the vitalization of the body and the chest is kind of opening things up, that nice twist. One more to the left. And then coming back to the center here, holding and now pressing up through your arms.

So extending through the elbows. Now pull back, pinching the shoulder blades back, opening up through the chest here. And then again, keep your chin lifted just a little bit so you have a nice, long neck. Pressing back, pinch the shoulder blades together, opening the chest. Great exercise here to open up through the front of body, your posture, and even through your shoulders, pinching back here, extending up, again, pressing through my elbows, not my shoulders, right?

Two different joints. Really getting a nice stretch here as you pull back through the shoulder blades, retract, pressing up. Good, one more, pull back through those shoulders, opening the chest. Last one, press it up, and then bring your right hand down to the side, left hand reaches overhead, nice side body stretch. And you can come to the forearm here.

Nice, easy flow. What I love about, again, Reiki and Pilates and all these movements, the fact that it income incorporates, all these modalities have the same principles, right? So the breath, the focus, the fluidity, the concentration, being present, right? Like, meditation, being in a present moment awareness. Nice stretch to the sides, opening up.

Inhale here one last time, exhale. One more to the left, inhale, and then exhale. Relax. Coming to the side here. So I'm bringing my right hand, fingers facing out.

You can be here with your knees kinda stacked. We're gonna do a nice side body stretch, or staggered the feet out. Lift up to kind of like, that rainbow, side body opener here. Okay, so again, option is for the knees to be bent here and this move side to side and then up. Or you can just stay here and then drop the hips down, a little bit harder here but you really feel that stretch in the lower half as you drop down right to here and to that oblique rib cage.

Reach up, nice rainbow stretch or half moon. It feels really good. Or again, option to drop the knee if that's in your practice. So do you, whatever feels good here. And not that straining the body.

It should really feel good to open up, breathe. One more. Nice stretch. Inhale here. Exhale, sit it back down.

Nice and gently switch sides. So same thing on the left. So fingers facing out. Knees can be staggered if you'd like to just press up through here, inhale, then exhale slowly drop it back down. Again, if it's in your practice to stagger the legs.

My right foot, or top foot's in front, inhale reach and then exhale back down. Getting a nice stretch here through the oblique, inhale, press it up, nice. Stretch through the upper part of body here. Good, dropping everything down. So we can forget about sometimes that side body, right, when we're stretching?

Exhale it. Good, inhale, lengthen, great through the stretch body up top, slowly drop it back down. One more time. Inhale, lengthen it up, feels good. And then slowly drop it back down.

Very good, take your time. And then moving to a bent knee here, seated position. So hands can be right below the knee here as we do some half roll downs. You're gonna sit up nice and tall through the sit bones. All right, and then slowly tuck the chin, round down through the spine.

So you're gonna inhale here, exhale, pull it back up nice and tall. Inhale, round it down and feel that stretch here. Now exhale, feel that heart open here at the top. Good. Inhale, round down.

Nice stretch. Exhale, pull the heart open, chin up. Good. And then inhale, round the back, nice. So again here, get a nice heart expansion, stretch through the back.

And now you can add or take away, bring the hands out to the front if you want a little bit more core or ab work here, so maybe go a little bit farther down. Exhale, now really open it up through the chest. So stacking the vertebrae as you come back up. Looks great. Inhale, exhale, lengthen nice and tall.

One more time. Yeah, and do you, what feels comfortable, what feels right. Exhale, good. And then slowly roll it all the way back down. So again think about those goalposts arms here, bring 'em out to the sides.

Keeping your knees bent we're gonna do bridges with goalpost arms. So again, this is gonna keep that heart open. So tuck your pelvis, roll the hips up to the sky, and really feel the chest and the shoulders kind of pinch back here, should feel really good in your upper back. And my elbows are at 90 degrees and then slowly peel it back down. So doing goalpost arm bridges, tuck the pelvis, press through the heels.

Really feel that chest expand here at the top, opening up through the front of the body, slowly roll it back down, butt hits last. Good. Four more, inhale, lengthen it up. Pressing through the heels. Exhale slowly, take it back down again.

Keep it at 90 degrees in the shoulder, like I said, should feel really good to open up the chest here. Nice stretch here at the top. Let's do two more, looks good. Nice, one more. Nice bridge and then slowly take it back down.

Very good. Now bringing those hands right in front of the chest, adding on here, tucking the pelvis, bridge up. So my hands are right in front of the chest and as I drop down my hands are gonna go overhead to really now stretch through my sides and then exhale, inhale, lengthen it up. Bring the hands right back in front of the chest here, so everything's up and as you go down, hands go back overhead. Nice stretch through those lats.

And really also feel the chest open here at the bottom. Back up, bridge, bring the hands forward. Press up through the heels, inhale, sink it back down, hands over head, nice stretch. Good, two more. Bridge it back up, hands come right in front of the chest.

Looks great. And then slowly take it back down. One more, nice length through the side body, and then press it back up, bridge. Awesome work, looks great. And then slowly take it back down.

Very good. So again, bringing those arms back to goalpost here on the ground, feet come up to tabletop position. So my elbows are at that 90 degrees, maybe shoulder level at the elbows or a little bit below, okay? Toe touches are next so setting up. So right foot's gonna reach down and out, little tap with the big toe.

Then pull it back up, left foot down and now tap. And then back in, right? So inhale, lengthen, keeping that slight bend in the knee, right? A little tap, stretch it through the hip flexor, again, keeping my hands at that goalpost position, they keep the chest open, the heart open. Good, breathe, inhale, lengthen, exhale.

Inhale, exhale, again, keeping that neutral spine, looks great. Inhale and exhale. Two more, inhale. Exhale. Inhale.

Last one here, right foot taps down with the big toe. Last one with the left foot, inhale and exhale, stay here at tabletop. Now bring those hands right in front of the chest. So as your hands go overhead, your right leg is gonna lengthen out. So to inhale here, then exhale, pull right back to that tabletop, hands come forward.

Good, left leg this time lengthens, hands go back overhead, open it up, and then exhale right back to center. Looks great, inhale, and then exhale right back to the middle. Inhale, lengthen. Keep that 90 degrees with that knee that's up and then exhale right back to tabletop. Breathe, inhale, open up through that front body here, feel a little bit of abs and core kick in a little bit.

Inhale, lengthen left leg. Awesome, exhale. Let's do one more, each side. Last with the right, inhale, lengthen it out. Good, then exhale, bring it back up.

Last one left, and then exhale. Good, pull in both knees into the chest, nice little lower back stretch, rock side to side. So this time I'm gonna rock and roll front to back, come up to seated position for a little reverse tabletop. So my fingers are forward. My knees are slightly bent.

Now if your shoulders are tight you can bring the fingers out to the side here, but you're gonna press up to that tabletop, nice heart opener here, stretch through the shoulders, and then slowly sit it back down. Good, same thing, press back up, open up to the anterior or front part of the body and then slowly take it back down, good. Two more, press it up, open, open, open, nice stretch through the shoulders, the chest. Exhale, take it back down. Let's do one more, here we go.

Press it back up, very good. And then slowly take it back down, nice work. So this time straight leg, you're gonna extend the legs. Again, if this isn't your practice, you can keep with the bent knee if it hurts your knees too much, but we have some modifications for that. So we're gonna press up now, straight leg pull or kick.

So again, if this hurts the knees a little, maybe rotate out onto the sides of the feet, you're gonna kick, inhale, and then exhale. Inhale, exhale. Good, open chest, open heart, looks good, eyes up. Again, always an option to have maybe a bent knee and extend out, march it out here. Okay, always modifications, do you, okay?

So let's do about three, two, don't forget to breathe, last one, chest up, chin up. Good, then slowly set it back down. Give me a nice forward, full counter stretch. Maybe shaking out the knees a little bit here, a little wiggle side to side. Take a deep breath.

Good. And then we'll slowly peel, or we'll roll it back down to our backs, one vertebrae at a time and relax it down. Okay, good. So now bringing palms up to the sides here, bring your feet, soles of the feet together, knees wide for a little butterfly. So make sure you shimmy and get your lower back down flat.

So you may have to pull the heels back to your butt a little bit. So now my palms are gonna stay up for these bridges, okay? So I'm gonna bridge up through my hips while keeping my shoulder blades down and back. Again, opening up through the heart here and the chest, shoulders are kind of forced to be back with your palms upright, then slowly take it back down. Good.

Bridge it up, squeeze through the glutes. Looks good, and then slowly roll it back down. Looks good. Awesome work, bridge it back up. Squeeze, open up through the shoulders, chest, chin up, and then slowly take it back down.

Again, keeping the palms open to keep the heart open and the chest open. Nice. And then slowly take it back down. Good, two more times bridge back up, again, readjust if you need to. Palms open, shoulders back, chest open.

Good, one more time, slowly peel it back down. Last one, here we go, inhale it up, and then exhale it back down. Well done. Pull those knees into the chest. Ah, nice stretch, rock it side to side.

Very good. So now a little twist to our 100 here, back to our butterfly, okay? So soles of the feet together, knees wide, and bringing those palms up again. Now, you're gonna lift up, make that C-curve, extend those arms out. Now lift the feet, we're gonna pump the arms just a little bit.

So you're gonna inhale, two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four, five. Breathe in two, three, four, five, and out, two, three, four, five. And now I'm looking right in between my legs at my feet here to protect the head and neck. If your neck is tired, drop it down here, right? They're still pumping those arms, palms to the sky.

Breathe in, two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four, five. Inhale two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four, five. Breathe in, two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four, five. Three more, two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four, five. Breathe in two, three, four, five, and out two, three, four, five.

Last one, two, three, four, five, and out, two, three, four, five, ah, drop it down. How'd that feel? Amazing, right? Pull those knees in, awesome work. Nice stretch, give little maybe rock and roll through the spine.

It's a little roll, like a ball, just to kind of stretch out, massage that back. Give me two more times, nice, easy roll like a ball. Good. Last one. Good.

And then slowly roll it back down, very good. So now we're gonna turn over to all fours, for a little cat cow. So we're gonna start with palms down, shoulders, elbows, wrists stack up, now rounding up through the spine, draw that belly in and then exhale, open up through the chest and the heart here, right? Round it up. Tuck the hips underneath, pressing the upper back away, exhale, dropping it down.

Looks great. Inhale, round it up, and exhale, drop it back down. Two more. Good, one more, round it up. And then coming back to that neutral spine here.

So, now taking your right hand and I'ma face you, but you're gonna pivot that right hand or fingers back towards you to get a nice forearm stretch, if this is available in your practice, okay? If not, you can bring the hand out to the side to get a forearm shoulder stretch here. Otherwise, if you can bring those fingers back towards you, right, and then do a nice, we're just gonna do one side at a time here. Nice, easy shift left to right, front to back and really feel the shoulder open up here, even through the front of the chest, or top of the chest here. Good, on that right side.

And then you'll slowly turn those fingers around, that palm around, shake it loose. That feels really good on the forearm, wrist, especially if you've been typing a lot, at the computer a lot. Left hand, spin those fingers back towards you. You might have one side's a little bit tighter. This might be it and just keep it here, okay?

And then nice and easy, side to side if you want, front to back, and go very slow and gentle through this. Again, pull that shoulder blade back on that left side, open up through the top of the chest here. All right. Breathe. Good.

And then slowly turn that around, shake it loose, very good. So the next thing we're gonna do here is bring your feet to child's pose. So toes touch, knees wide, okay? Walk your hands out to the front here so they're gonna be stable. You just sit back to your child's pose.

So, to my heels and then we're gonna flow forward through, shifting the weight, dropping the hips, open up through the chest, nothing moves in my lower half. So it's kind of like a little up dog here, press back, child's pose. So flow it through. Open the chest here, look up towards the sky, press it back. Inhale, exhale, look up, expansion through the chest, maybe bring those hands a little wider, press it back.

Good. Two more. Inhale, good, exhale. One more. Nice stretch.

And exhale, sit it back to child's pose here, nice. So get nice and long in those lats here. Take a deep breath. Exhale it. Good, and coming back up to all fours.

So again, squaring off through the body here. Start with my right hand, I'm just gonna reach up towards the sky. So get a nice opener here through the chest and then bring it back down. I want to stick with that right side, opening up through the chest, palm out to the side here, pressing the ground away, and then bring it back down right to square. Again, back up, open through the chest so we'll get a nice twist here through the chest and the upper back, even the upper part of the torso.

Looks good, two more, inhale, and then exhale. Good, one more, inhale, and then exhale. Switching sides to the left, inhale, open it up, pressing the ground away, really feeling that expansion through the chest, the heart there. Back to the center, again, we'll keep with the left side. Open up.

And then back down. Goo, open up, inhale, pressing the ground away, nice stretch. Two more, inhale, open it up, palm out to the side. Really open up through the front of the chest, the back, exhale it back down, looks great. One more, inhale, press it up, and then back down, relax.

So, now moving into a bit of a modified swan dive today. So I'm walking my knees back, kind of in that kneeling pushup position. Bring your hands a little bit wider than the shoulders, feet are up. You're gonna inhale, sit it back. Elbows are gonna curl out to the sides.

You're gonna scoop through, inhale, exhale. Nice and tall here, open up through the chest. So inhale, sit it back. So a little more modified here to really get the expansion through the chest here at the top, right, than our typical swan dives. So we're gonna inhale, open up those elbows, all about that chest expansion, heart opening, right here, my feet are just staying here, right?

Inhale, sit it back. So I'll show you from this angle. As you scoop through and then press it up. My hands are really wide here, giving myself space for my elbows to open up, scoop through. One more time, here we go.

Inhale, sit it back. Exhale, bring it through, press back to child's pose, and stretch, nice. Very good. And then coming forward to our bellies, again, opening up, palms out to the side here. So again, my elbows are little bit wider than my shoulders.

We'll start with those leg kicks, or hamstring curls. So give me that one, two, reach, left leg, one, two. So just alternate right, left. One, two, kick, reach, left, one, two, kick. So again, keeping the chest open here.

Now, if this hurts your lower back, you can drop down, but maybe bring the elbows out a little bit wider, or even to that goalpost arms here. One, two, switch, one, two, switch, so keep the chest open, right? Focusing in on the heart opening. Again, you could drop one ear to the side. Good, inhale, exhale, inhale, and then exhale.

Good, continue to breathe through, nice quad stretch, hamstring work here. Looks good, two more. Good, one more. And then relax it down, good. Bring the hands to the small of the back now, letting the elbows drop down.

My left cheek is to the side of the mat and I'm gonna inhale, lengthen up, reach out through those hands, head looks forward. Exhale, take it back down, bring the hands back to the small of the back, right ear to the mat. Inhale, reach, left ear to the mat. Drop it back down, hands to the center, or to the lower back. Now, inhale, reach.

Good, exhale, inhale, reach, pull back, lift those feet, exhale, pull it back down, nice. Inhale, reach, exhale, back, we'll do one more each side. Inhale, reach, exhale. Last one, reach, and then exhale, relax. Ah, good, press back to child's pose, let's get a little back stretch.

And then slowly come back to the belly here. You're gonna bend the knees, reach back, grab the feet or the ankles here. Bring those knees a little closer together. You're gonna kick through your hands, lift up, and now nice, easy rock front to back. Open up through the chest here.

Kick into the hands. Good, get a little bit at momentum as you kick through. Again, go your range of motion again. You might just want to stay here and then open through the chest and look forward, that's okay, right? Do you.

You've got four, breathe, three, good, two, and one, relax it, child's pose, stretch it back. Ah, very good. Shimmy out those hips a little bit. Looks good. And then come all the way back to all fours, have a seat facing me, little cross in the legs.

We'll get to our cool-down Reiki meditation. So, again, you're gonna bring your palms, fingertips touch, keeping that little bit of a space in between the palms here. Again, that's where your energy, you'll start to feel your heat, that kind of static electricity. Good. And begin to close the eyes here.

So, let's just begin to feel, to see if we can feel that energy, that heat in between the palms, so you're bringing your awareness there. And again, if you don't feel it, it's okay, trust and know that it's there. Now maybe this time you want to rub the hands together a little bit and then come back to that prayer position with the hands, keeping that space in between the palms now so just the fingertips are touching and now see if you feel a little bit more just singular energy, heat between those palms. Again, here you can play with it. You can kind of spin the hands side to side to see if you can feel a little bit more just of that energy or more than just my palms are warm, but just kind of like a little bit of a ball of energy or static electricity in between the hands.

You can bring your hands in and out. And feel free to open your eyes whenever you'd like if you want to watch, but maybe you just want to close the eyes and feel for it yourself. And then you'll bring your hands back to that prayer. Take a deep breath, exhale. And then bring your left hand to your heart or your chest and then your right hand's gonna go over top of that.

Now, feeling the warmth, the electricity, the energy, your Reiki. That is your Reiki, that is your life force, for healing. So giving yourself the self love, self care through the heart chakra, which is our love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness. Give yourself a moment just to feel, feel what it feels like to give yourself that self love, to be present, to be here, to move, to love your body, love your mind. Keeping both hands to the chest or the heart here, I'd invite in a little bit of a mantra.

So if the mind begins to wander maybe return to this mantra. Love for me. Love for you. Love for all. Love for me.

Love for you. Love for all. Love for me. Love for you. Love for all.

And keep repeating that mantra. Again, if thoughts arise, it's okay. It's what your mind is supposed to do, it's supposed to think. But maybe you can return to the mantra, love for me, love for you, love for all. And as you bring your awareness back keep your eyes closed, and just notice how you feel.

Deepen your hands here on your heart, your chest. Fell the compassion for yourself, the love for yourself. Love for your body, for it to be able to move. Even forgiveness for yourself, empathy. Take one final nice, easy inhale through your nose and then exhale through the mouth.

Nice, easy inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. And slowly tuck your chin down to your chest, keep your hands heart center, touching, one over top of another, and feeling that love. And as a countdown from 10 you'll slowly open your eyes so that you are the first person you see. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one. Thank you for joining me.

I appreciate you being here and I can't wait to see you all next week. Have a great and wonderful day.


1 person likes this.
Loved it! Thank you so much Jason.
Jason Williams
Iga S You're welcome!  Glad you like it! :)
1 person likes this.
Thank you Jason! This was a great heart opening class.
Jason Williams
Kerry W You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it! :)
2 people like this.
Love for me, Love for you, Love for all.... This was wonderful.  Thank you!!

Jason Williams
Nicholle H You're welcome! Glad you liked the mantra.  
1 person likes this.
loved this class. I feel really relaxed my hands were hot !  Gill. E

Jason Williams
Gillian  Love it! Glad you're feeling your healing energy.
Judy K
1 person likes this.
really enjoyed this.  It was easy to follow.  Cues were clear and interesting and encouraging..thanks
1 person likes this.
what a treat. big thanks from Dublin Ireland x
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